Why you shouldn’t drink water while you eat
I am trying to remove the words “should” and “shouldn’t” from my vocabulary, and instead replacing them with “could”, but for the purposes of this article I feel it’s appropriate. Drinking while you’re eating is not a good idea, and essentially it’s something most of us will benefit from refraining from.
It wasn’t so long ago that I found it almost impossible to make it through a meal without relying on a mouthful of water to wash down every bite, so I understand the resistance you might feel upon hearing this idea. However, this also means that I have experienced the benefits of ceasing hydration during meals.
If I’m going to go around telling you that you shouldn’t enjoy your meal with a glass of water, I need to give you a reason why. So, here it is: It screws with your digestion.
When you’re settling in to enjoy a meal, your stomach – being the clever little worker that it is – will start releasing the exact amount of gastric juices that are needed to digest the food you’re shovelling into your system. However, if liquid is going in as well, not only does the water dilute the digestive juices, but water is absorbed through the walls of the stomach until the contents are concentrated enough for the digestive juices to act. When this happens, the concentrated substance ends up being thicker than the food your stomach was expecting to accommodate for and you won’t have enough gastric juice to break it down. This leads to undigested food being absorbed through the stomach wall and sneaking into your system.
Cold water, especially, is a problem. Drinking cold water during meals can slow digestion and may cause cramping if you are particularly sensitive.
If the idea of skipping water during meals all together is too much to handle, slowly wean yourself off it by just allowing small sips of room temperature water. Aim to hydrate about 15 to 20 minutes before you eat, and then try not to drink too much water until about 30 minutes to an hour after you’ve finished your meal.
With all of the rules we have floating around in the wellness world, this isn’t something to worry yourself sick over. You don’t have to treat it as gospel. However, if you do experience bloating, cramping or gas after eating, making this slight change could do you the world of good.
Have you experimented by not drinking while you eat? Have you noticed any differences in your digestion? Do you think this is something you could/should have a go at?
Positive affirmation for the day: I have complete faith that my life is unfolding exactly the way it is supposed to. I release all anxiety and expectations.
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